This was a big step for Seattlest. Lucky of late to make frequent trips to Japan, we’ve been hesitant to spend our hard-earned dollars on sushi in Seattle for fear of disappointment. Nishino’s participation in the promotion encouraged us to give this high-end place a try.
And high-end it was. We felt like proletarians in a sea of bourgeoisie watching all the elegant people of Madison Park saunter in for their sake and sushi.
We sat at the counter and sipped our green tea as we awaited our entrée. The appetizer was good; we went for the “seared albacore tuna sashimi,” which came fanned out over seaweed salad, offering a nice contrast in textures. Then we bantered a bit with the sushi chef, admiring his knifework, when he presented our “assortment sushi.” Not normally fans of rolls, we found the three pieces of veggie roll and two pieces of tuna roll quite satisfying. The nigiri consisted of shrimp, salmon (a richer, wild variety), hamachi, maguro, and what was described as super-white albacore – our favorite of the lot (it had a lingering taste reminiscent of good quality toro). The fish was fresh and we craved more; when asked if we wanted to order something else, we thought about our upcoming trio of sorbets (including the much-anticipated chiso) and knew we’d still be hungry. Aware of our burgeoning bill, we decided to forego more sushi and instead order a plate of tempura oysters.
The meal was delightful and delicious, and we can see why Nishino is a front-runner in any Seattle sushi war debate. It’s elegant, and the service is attentive. So how did the experience compare to Japan? Perhaps a downside of travel is the perspective it provides. For our money, we can get a less costly and more fulfilling meal at the counter of a Tsukiji fish-market joint, or even our favorite Tokyo neighborhood sushi place. We like the working class feel of those everyday places, home of the proletariat class, as compared to the more bourgeois scene at Nishino where a night out is saved for a special event. Then again, a trip to Madison Park is cheaper and faster than a trip to Tokyo.
Originally posted at Seattlest (where “we” = me) on December 1, 2006, back in the days of 25 for $25.